Vice President Joe Biden unloaded on Mitt Romney in New Hampshire today, accusing him of trying to “sucker” voters into believing that tax cuts for the rich would spur economic growth and slamming Romney’s personal wealth.
“He offers his prescription as if somehow it’s a new idea, folks, like something we haven’t seen before, even worse, like something we haven’t actually tried before,” Biden said of Romney’s tax plan in a campaign speech in Exeter.
“Folks, we’ve seen the movie before. … It doesn’t end well. It does not end well. Where has he been? ” Biden continued. “You know, could it be that he’s out of touch? I don’t know.”
The attack comes as Democrats seek to expand Obama’s lead over Romney in recent polls, which show the president holding a strong edge among voters on such personal attributes as likability and perceived empathy.
Biden argued that Romney’s proposal to extend and expand the so-called Bush tax cuts, in tandem with repealing consumer financial protections imposed over the past three years, is “unjustifiable” to many in the middle class.
The cuts imposed under Obama’s predecessor reduced tax rates for individuals earning $200,000 or more, and families earning $250,000 or more. Democrats have argued that they failed to “trickle down” and boost the middle class, and should be allowed to lapse at the end of the year.
“Mitt Romney wants to take us down that same road again,” Biden said. “Let me state it plainly: The president and I are determined to do all in our power to ensure we never go down that road again.”
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the Obama-Biden campaign for higher taxes on the wealthy would not boost the economy, create jobs or solve the nation’s debt crisis.
“In the fourth year of his term, President Obama has made no serious effort to reduce our country’s debt and deficits. Now, in an election year, he is using transparent political gimmicks to try and distract Americans from their failure to control spending and put Americans back to work,” Saul said in an email.
“Instead of the ‘Buffett Rule,’ the real issue is the ‘Obama Rule,’ which is President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on American families and small businesses to grow government and stifle free enterprise,” she added.
But Biden insisted today his tax plan was a matter of “fairness.”
“One thing we don’t like being played for is a sucker,” Biden said, waving his finger at the crowd. “So when you all pay your taxes next week, you and every citizen in New Hampshire ought to be able to know that everyone else is paying their fair share as well. The truth is you know they’re not.”
Biden also took a swipe at Romney’s personal wealth to refute charges by the Romney campaign that the president is most ”out of touch” with voters.
“Gov. Romney calls the president ‘out of touch’ – and anti-woman, by the way, but …- out of touch …” he said. “Hey, how many of you all have a Swiss bank account? And how many of you have somewhere between $20 million and $100 million in your IRA? All right, I got to meet you. Out of touch? He calls the president out of touch.”
Romney’s net worth is estimated to be at least $190 million, according to financial disclosures. Obama is worth between $1.8 million and $12 million.